Ice Cream Capital
Some of my fondest childhood memories involved ice cream. My best friend, Mona, and I spent most of our summer vacations as kids straining to hear the tinny little jingle of the ice cream truck. I always got a Bomb Pop. Mona was a Nutty Buddy girl. My mother and I covered countless West Texas miles in our yellow Plymouth, crooning along with Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynne while chomping on Dilly bars from every Dairy Queen between Midland and Monahans.
Angie Watson, a.k.a. the Ice Cream Empress, is the manager of the Wells Dairy Ice Cream Museum in Le Mars, Iowa. She hears lots of similar stories from the nearly 14,000 visitors who have made a pilgrimage to Le Mars since the museum opened last March.
The Museum has a mini-theater where you can learn the history of ice cream. For instance, as early as 200 B.C., the Chinese mixed snow with milk and rice. Visitors also learn about the birth of the ice cream cone at the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904. And finally, we find out how this midwestern agricultural town got its unusual title.
But quantity can sometimes jeopardize quality, so I decided to do a little investigative reporting at the adjoining Wells Blue Bunny Ice cream parlor.
No matter where you are in the world, it's a pretty safe bet you can find an ice cream parlor. At its best, it's can be a familiar place that allows you to indulge your memories of barefoot summers past.
From Le Mars Iowa, I'm Susan Butler for The Savvy Traveler.
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